Translating enjoyment of experience to ownership and learning
Our research focused on exploring the American Museum woodlands with a mixed group of primary aged Learning Disabled children. Physicality was integral to children’s investigations. It offered a multi-sensory ‘hands-on’ experience and children stroked, pulled, dug, handled, manipulated, climbed, slid and swung! Natural materials were used imaginatively to invent games and facilitate interaction with others and children were physically supportive of each other – sharing the space, working collaboratively and contributing to each other’s ideas and interests.
Verbal and non-verbal co-operation and respect for each other’s discoveries were fundamental contributors to the creative process. Repeated opportunities during the project to revisit materials and experiences led to the children feeling competent and confident to communicate their thinking in actions, role-play and talk. Cohesion between children in the group was intuitive as they sought to include or involve each other in any new discovery.